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Gunghalin Community Council president Ewan Brown says drivers are boycotting service
stations in the northern suburb due to excessive fuel prices.
Photo: Matt Bedford
Gunghalin drivers fuel
up out of area in protest
Gungahlin residents are facing some of the
highest petrol prices in the ACT , prompting
some motorists to boycott service stations in the
area in protest.
Instead, they are driving to Majura between
business hours to fuel up at Costco or
Gungahlin Community Council president
Ewan Brown blames a lack of competition and
a sedate regulator for the problem.
"It is a lack of competition and a lack of
action by the Australian Competition and
Consumer Commission in trying to enforce the
process, he said.
"I think the ACT government should follow
the line they have taken on supermarkets and
dedicate specific sites for independents.
"They need an environment that fosters more
independent retailers otherwise we re just not
going to get the discount opportunities.
While he did not think Gungahlin was being
targeted, he said that the suburb was very car-
My Gungahlin blogger Mark Scarborough
said he believed the lack of a market leader in
the area to bring the price down was more of a
problem than competition.
"The price disparity between Gungahlin and
the rest of Canberra was terrible, he said. "It is
On the ACT Fuel Watch Facebook page,
residents in Canberra s far north registered their
disgust by driving to Majura Park for cheaper
petrol in protest.
"They are definitely saving money but
whether it is worth their time is another thing,
Mr Scarborough said.
"But it is worth doing as a [form of] protest.
The watchdog s Facebook page is keeping
petrol pricing across Canberra in the forefront
of people s minds.
Whether it drives down Canberra prices to
those in Sydney is yet to be seen.
There remains a disparity of about 20¢
between petrol prices in Sydney and at bowsers
in the capital.
"The end state has to be actually getting the
fuel price in Canberra close to that in Sydney,
Mr Scarborough said.
Tenants pay the price for inefficiencies
Renters are being hit with
some of the biggest power
bills in the ACT due to
energy intensive housing
Those stuck on the
rental treadmill, where
home ownership may be
forever out of reach, are
paying the significant
costs for uninsulated
houses and archaic
This leaves many of Canberra s lowest
earners battling some of the highest energy
A joint submission made to the ACT
government by the ACT Council of Social
Services and the Conservation Council ACT
Region recommended that landlords lift their
game and provide basic energy efficiency
measures for their tenants.
The submission was part of an ACT
government consultation on whether to prolong
the Energy Efficiency Improvement scheme
beyond December 31, 2015.
If the scheme is extended without change,
ACTCOSS director Susan Helyar believes the
gap between homeowners and renters will
There is a growing divide in our city
between those households who can cover basic
costs of living and those who get trapped in high
cost housing, both in terms of rent payments and
energy costs, she said.
"Mandating energy efficiency measures in
low cost housing is a critical step we need to
take in the ACT to address inequality."
Conservation Council ACT Region executive
director Clare Henderson said improving the
energy efficiency of all housing stock was a win
for tenants, homeowners and the health care
"Owners understand that the capital value of
their assets is enhanced by better, more energy
efficient stock, she said.
"This comes from better resale value, and
energy efficiency often comes from better-built
and therefore cheaper to maintain properties.
"Our recommendation would have the
scheme support more activities by landlords so
that the gap between rented and owned houses
does not continue to get wider.
"If the issue of poor-quality energy-
inefficient housing is not addressed there are
broader individual and societal problems that
Among other things, people in poorer-
quality housing, especially in terms of heating
and cooling, suffer worse mental and physical
health outcomes with resultant increased shared
An ACT government spokesman said a
decision on the continuation of the EEIS beyond
December 31, 2015, and any changes to it, was
expected in the first half of this year.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 - 6
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